I know there are a lot of games that have come out of Chicago that aren’t related to the Williams / Midway / NetherRealm legacy. Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about those, their time is coming. That said, on Saturday at the 2013 VGX awards, Chicago’s own NetherRealm Studios took home top honors in the fighting game category with Injustice: Gods Among Us. It truly is a great fighting game, and given it’s recent win, now seemed like the perfect time to give it some recognition here on the blog.
If you’re completely unfamiliar with Injustice, here’s a little background. It’s a 2.5D fighting game developed by NetherRealm Studios, the same studio that brought us the most recent addition to the Mortal Kombat franchise. While Injustice certainly carries over some of the more general characteristics of MK9, it varies greatly in many ways. First off, Injustice is set completely within the DC Comics universe. The player is able to control many of DC’s most iconic heroes and villains. The game includes pop-culture icons like Batman, Superman, and the Joker, as well as lesser-known DC characters like Sinestro, Solomon Grundy, and Killer Frost.
While Injustice is definitely a brutal fighting game, NetherRealm took care to ensure that the level of gore and violence from the Mortal Kombat series did not find it’s way in. In the absence of over-the-top fatalities, Injustice gives players the ability to use the environment in equally ridiculous ways. With both interactive items to use, and insane stage transitions, Injustice never feels like it’s losing anything by ditching the gore. In addition to losing the blood guts, Injustice goes to some length to ensure that it’s gameplay isn’t a knock-off of MK. For one, the dedicated block button that is a staple of MK games is gone in favor of the more traditional back-to-block system. The attack buttons also work differently; players now have three separate attacks of varying damage as well as a “trait” button which allows them to utilize a temporary, character specific boost. Another interesting change is the clash system in which players can wager an amount of their super meter to attempt to overpower their opponent. Winning a clash results in gaining health, while losing a clash causes the opposite affect.
(the awesome stage transitions from Injustice)
I won’t spoil the story of Injustice, but if you’ve played MK9, you’ll find the manner in which the plot moves to be pretty similar. The story moves from character, to character, giving you a chance to take control of each one. The plot is ridiculous in that wonderful, comic-book sort of way, and it fits the premise of the game well.
We’d like to give NetherRealm a big fat congratulations. Chicago continues to crank out great fighting games, and it’s great to see Injustice get recognized for that. Injustice: Gods Among Us was released on April 16th 2013 for (then) current gen consoles. The game has since seen the release of an “Ultimate Edition” for all current and next gen consoles, Windows (via Steam) and Plastation Vita. This new version contains the original game, along with all of the DLC.